The High Court of Manipur on Wednesday directed the state government to form a separate Special Team headed by SP special commando Krishnatombi Singh to ascertain the whereabouts of convicted rapist Timothy L Changsang who has been absconding.
Timothy was sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old girl under POCSO Act in May 2018.
A division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kumar and justice MV Muralidaran directed to form a separate special team as no effective measures have been taken up till date to apprehend the convict, who has been held guilty of heinous offences and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The High Court opined that something more purposeful needs to be done by the state, in addition to pushing papers.
Before the HC, advocate general Manipur submitted that additional affidavit of July 7, 2022 filed by the inspector general of police (Adm.), giving details of the further steps taken to apprehend the convict. He is, however, not in a position to state whether any concrete progress has been achieved by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the director general of police, Manipur, under order of April 29, 2022, advocate general submitted.
It was submitted that the additional affidavit merely states that the superintendent of police, Churachandpur is taking necessary steps to arrest the absconding person.
However, the amicus curiae of the case suggested from his experience that Krishnatombi Singh, a police officer in the state of Manipur, would be the right choice to undertake the mission of arresting the elusive convict.
The HC after being noted that the amicus curiae was himself a former additional DGP in the state of Manipur and would have useful knowledge in the regard, directed the state government to form a separate special team and further directed for extending necessary assistance to the team.
It may be mentioned that the special investigation team was set up with the state chief secretary, and the director general of police, Manipur to ascertain the whereabouts of the convict and to take him into custody on April 19 but no tangible result has been achieved.
Timothy, who is also the administrator of North Eastern Children Home, Rengkai village Churachandpur, was sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment in May 2018, under Section 6 and 10 of the POCSO Act and under 506 IPC.
The convict had also filed a condonation petition in the high court, citing several issues.
It may also be noted that the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the convict had been already dismissed by the Supreme Court on January 7, 2022. In effect, the conviction and sentence stand confirmed as on date.
As the proceedings were carried out before the HC, the absconder had applied for bail through his counsel. The High Court had fixed February 8, 2022 for the appearance of the convict through video conference, but he did not appear.
Despite having been convicted, Timothy L Changsan had escaped the net and remained at large.
The high court in July 2020 had also directed SP Churachandpur to take up steps to issue a red corner notice against the absconding rape convict.
The court appointed A Romenkumar, as amicus curiae and suggested that a special team, monitored and guided by the Intelligence department be formed to ensure better coordination in arresting the absconding convict.